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Philips BDM4065UC 40-inch Ultra HD Monitor Review

Why would you put the Philips BDM4065UC on your desk? Because it's 40 inches with Ultra HD resolution and a 5000:1 contrast ratio. Today we check it out in our lab.

Conclusion

Whenever we review a large display there are a few readers who ask, “why not simply use a television as your monitor? It’s cheaper.” While there are some Ultra HD TVs that cost less than the Philips BDM4065UC none of them come with DisplayPort inputs and some can’t accept 3840x2160 signals above 30Hz. The only way to do that over HDMI is with version 2.0 in both the display and graphics board.

We’ve seen the line between televisions and computer monitors blur over the years as resolutions have increased and nearly every flat panel utilizes some type of LCD technology. Even though plasma and OLED offer some advantages, it looks like LCD is here to stay and will likely remain the dominant tech for the foreseeable future.

As prices have fallen and screens have grown in size and resolution, it’s only natural for gamers and entertainment-seekers to gravitate towards larger monitors. But large computer monitors are always more expensive than their same-sized HDTV counterparts.

The BDM4065UC has in effect created its own product category. Ultra HD screens have been mainly seen in the more expensive lines from all major manufacturers. We’re seeing more budget displays in the 28-inch and 24-inch sizes but then you have to consider things like font scaling and just what you’re planning to use your monitor for.

Ultimately what enthusiasts seem to want is some flavor of IPS, decent response, large size and good value. With this new panel part, Philips has delivered all of these along with the best contrast we’ve measured outside a plasma TV.

Our test results speak for themselves. Even after calibration the BDM4065UC’s contrast is more than double that of the next-best screen in our database, BenQ’s BL3200PT. Compared to that excellent monitor, it adds Ultra HD resolution and eight more diagonal inches for only about $250 extra. The only flaws we discovered were saturation errors in the blue and red primary colors. Ultimately we had no problem living with a little inaccuracy given that our principal usage amounted to gaming and productivity. And we would likely chuck the non-adjustable stand for something with height and tilt functions. That’s probably the one corner Philips cut to keep the price down. Better that than accepting lesser performance.

The BDM4065UC isn’t perfect but it does a lot of things well and it has amazing contrast and a beautiful image. That coupled with the fact that it’s a completely unique product earns it our Tom’s Editor Approved Award.

MORE: Best Computer MonitorsMORE: Display Calibration 101: Step-By-Step With Datacolor's Sypder4Elite

MORE: Display Calibration 201: The Science Behind Tuning Your Monitor
MORE: All Monitor ArticlesMORE: Displays on the Forums

Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware, covering Monitors and TVs.

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  • Oleander
    Bought one back in january. Best decision ever!

    A lot of bad stuff were said about it in forums (for all the wrong reasons) so it's nice to see that for what I use it (non first-person gaming and all-round) this review vindicates it.

    Only remaining issue is the flicker of the backlight if brightness is not at 100%, but since the brightness is so low, it's not a problem to me.
    Reply
  • cats_Paw
    For professional use, absolutely.
    For gaming, probably not (Black levels are amazing for LED panel, and also contrast is amazing, but color delta and input lag... no way).

    Plasmas are still king for gaming in my books, too abd they are almost all gone by now.
    Reply
  • Maryland_USA
    A completely unique product? I don't think so. Several other 40-inch monitors are available that will drive a VA panel at 3840x2160@60Hz through both DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.0. They're sold by AMH, Crossover, Iiyama, MIcroboard, and Seiki. Step up to 43 inches, and you must add Wasabi Mango. All but the Seiki and Iiyama cost less than the Philips.
    Reply
  • Larry Litmanen
    I currently game on a 32 inch TV, honestly you can not go back to a monitor with a better resolution that is 24 or 27 inches. Once you go big it is just amazing.

    It's not just the width, you also need that vertical screen real estate.

    Reply
  • hotdogee
    "Nearly every LCD panel on the planet is made by either Samsung, LG or AU Optronics. A few are also made by Innolux (formerly Chi Mei). But the Philips BDM4065UC is made by TP Vision, which is the actual owner of the Philips brand."

    The panel is made by Innolux for TP Vision.
    Reply
  • Eggz
    Great to see this. Is tom's planning on reviewing the new LG 4K OLED displays? They would seem to score very well in just about every category that matters for professional use. I'd love to see it, and the reviewers would also probably enjoy playing with one. Consider it, please.
    Reply
  • QuadT
    If this had G Sync I'd order it right now.
    Reply
  • Xorak
    I used a 32" 1080p TV for a long time, so I completely get the appeal of a big screen with great contrast and vibrant color, even if it's not the fastest or most accurate. Now I'm used to my MG279Q and would not go back to a fixed refresh screen. I hoped that 4096x2160 would start catching on too, but it looks like it won't. In the next 2 years a single GPU should be able to make use of a true 4k panel with variable refresh up to 75 or 90hz and it would be a thing of beauty at 30+ inches.
    Reply
  • enewmen
    Can someone explain why not to use Ultra HD LEDs TV for computer work? (another dumb post) For small font text (using 1080p TVs) , the TVs did'n't look as sharp as PC monitors. But I don't see that as a problem for 2160p TVs. Yes, the TV must have HDMI 2.0 and the graphics card must also support that. But is that the only reason? Anyway, the Philips looks like an UHD TV made for PC work at a price similar to TVs.
    I also personally don't like Display Port cables because only the BEST cables won't give problems with recovering from sleep mode. Gave up on Display Port and currently using DVI Dual Link at 1440p.
    Reply
  • mavikt
    Great to see this. Is tom's planning on reviewing the new LG 4K OLED displays? They would seem to score very well in just about every category that matters for professional use. I'd love to see it, and the reviewers would also probably enjoy playing with one. Consider it, please.

    I too would like to see a proper technical review of said (TV) tech.
    In a home theater magazine I subscribe to they said that the latency was around 50ms (55EG960V), didn't say how it was measured though. Otherwise they said it was The Perfect TV.
    So it remains to be seen if LCD will "remain the dominant tech for the foreseeable future"
    Reply